Perspectives | Ty-Ron M. O. Douglas

Audacity Personified:Leading With Hope, Searching for Truth(s)

This article examines the theme of hope within the context of my own spiritual positionality1 and my philosophical journey during a graduate course in Philosophy of Education—a course that I was completing as Barack Obama transitioned from presidential candidate to President of the United States.2 My transition from graduate student to professor of education coincided with a notable shift in America’s ideological climate and Obama’s presidential campaign in which hope was a central tenet. Drawing on what some may describe as primitive biblical principles, in one sense my argument reflects traditional Christianity; yet in another sense, it is far from traditional in that it espouses teachings that are no longer common in traditional, mainstream, or nominal Christianity. I frame my argument around the controversial notions of big Truths (“T’s”) and little truths (“t’s”) as tangible, yet sometimes misguided, manifestations of humanity’s nihilistic pursuit of meaning in a confusing world.

I believe this topic is important for all educators—particularly educators in higher education in parts of the world where Postmodernism has made an impact because we possess and promote varying notions of truth that collide with, create, clarify, and even confuse the beliefs of our students—many of whom no longer learn about God in public schools or at home, and who invariably wrestle with their own notions of truth. I conclude the article by analyzing my journey as a Christian scholar-educator.

Unlike the American philosopher Richard Rorty,3 who reduces Christianity to New Testament teachings, my perspective encompasses the whole Bible as a standard for truth, hope, and wisdom in ways that many Christians, including some Seventh-day Adventists, seemingly no longer acknowledge or accept. As such, this article is as much an analysis of humanity’s philosophical pursuit of hope as it is an articulation and acknowledgement of my positionality as a non-traditional Christian academic within the context of my graduate course experience and now as a professor.

Certainly, suspicion of spirituality, religion, and faith abounds inside and outside of the academy. Scholars who see their spirituality as inseparable from their work as advocates of social justice often face challenges embracing “prophetic pragmatism”4 without being labeled anti-intellectual or libeled as closed-minded. Naming and embracing one’s position as a Christian academician can be a highly nuanced and difficult process.5 Drawing from my position as a self-identified non-traditional Christian intellectual, this article reveals personal elements of my philosophical encounters with Plato’s “philosopher-king,”6 Rorty’s notion of consensus,7 and discourses of hope.

Because I understood that the possibility of the language, label, and legacy of Christianity being used as “tools”8 for bludgeoning and beguiling the masses is as real as the God of Christianity, I cautiously began navigating through the treacherous web of opinions surrounding the origin of humanity’s philosophical dilemma: the Garden of Eden.

Ellen White explained that “It is a masterpiece of Satan’s deceptions to keep the minds of men searching and conjecturing in regard to that which God has not made known, and which He does not intend that we shall understand. It was thus that Lucifer lost his place in heaven. . . . Now he seeks to imbue the minds of men with the same spirit and to lead them also to disregard the direct commands of God. Those who are unwilling to accept the plain, cutting truths of the Bible are continually seeking pleasing fables that will quiet the conscience.”9

To misunderstand the magnitude of humanity’s fallen condition through a misguided hope in education as the magic cure-all is merely a mutation of the swindling, self-indulged subtleties espoused by the serpent (Satan) in the Garden.

Philosophy—which can be defined as the love or pursuit of wisdom10—has always been a part of the human experience, although it transcends the existence of humanity.11 The biblical account of the creation and fall of Adam and Eve (see Genesis 1 to 3) suggests that this couple was not only given the responsibility of tending the Garden, but also had the privilege of learning about the intricacies of the universe directly from God.

Arguably, then, philosophy—in its purest form—has been valuable to humanity and validated by God, as long as humans did not abuse their freedom by disobeying the parameters of the Creator, the source of wisdom. In this light, Kant’s belief that laws are meant to make people free, and individuals must be free to follow the law is not new.12 Fritz Guy provides important context for this discussion by challenging us to consider how faith and philosophical thought can intersect appropriately within Christian education and Adventist education in particular:

“God and humanity share the ability to think. We can think about God, about the world, and about ourselves—and we can think about thinking. Because of this, our human reality is less like the reality of squirrels, cows, and chimpanzees and more like the reality of God. The more we know and understand, the more clearly and creatively we think, the more we fulfill God’s intention for humanity, created in His own image. So the expansion and extension of knowledge that is the mission of higher education need not be regarded as an enterprise that is hostile to, or even outside of, Adventist faith. Indeed, such expansion and extension can be seen as a dimension of our faith.”13

Where, then, could danger lie in the human pursuit of truth(s) and knowledge? In the Bible, Genesis 3:4 and 5 outlines the deceptive introduction of the counterfeit to the human race: “Then the serpent said to the woman, ‘You will not surely die. For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil’” (Genesis 3:4, 5, NKJV).14 As such, it can be contended that philosophy as we know it began with Adam and Eve’s disobedience. And since then, some have sought to explain the world and our existence, while simultaneously and systematically denigrating God to nothing more than meaningless conjecture.

Plato posited many intriguing and insightful ideas. His belief in education as the journey of the soul toward “the good” and his focus on justice were rooted in what appears to have been a sincere desire to improve the human condition. Like Plato, I believe that each person has a nature, but I disagree with him as to its quality. Plato believed that humans find happiness when they find that nature15; I believe we find happiness when we allow God to change our nature because “‘The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked’” (Jeremiah 17:9).

Nevertheless, Plato’s value to Western philosophy is exemplified by his claims that disharmony, internal conflict, and war occur when people are working outside of their specialized function, and that violence is the result of violating boundaries. I concur. But I also believe that philosophy, like nominal Christianity, often violates those boundaries. Although Plato acknowledged that there is a Truth to be found and—upon its discovery—humans must align themselves with it, he, like Adam and Eve, was deceived. To misunderstand the magnitude of humanity’s fallen condition through a misguided hope in education as the magic cure-all is merely a mutation of the swindling, self-indulged subtleties espoused by the serpent (Satan) in the Garden. While some may suggest that Plato, who penned his thoughts 2,400 years ago, predates the Bible and Christianity, it is my contention that—as a descendant of Adam—Plato’s philosophy merely predated Christianity as a religion and not Christianity as an experience. The biblical record suggests that Christ is the Creator in the Old Testament as well as the crucified Savior of the New Testament:

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. . . . And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth” (John 1:1-3, 14).

The writings of Ellen G. White16 and T. E. White17 agree that a Christian whose interpretation is based on the acceptance and legitimacy of the whole Bible must consider that Christ is not only the Redeemer in the New Testament, but also the Creator in the Old Testament. This acknowledgement is significant because many scholars and contemporary philosophers attempt to position Plato and his writings as predating Christianity. This argument must be questioned in light of the biblical record, which suggests that Christianity is a relational experience that began (for humanity) when Adam and Eve were created in the Garden of Eden.

While large-scale reforms and political inertia may discourage many educators from envisioning and engaging in critical practices that can heal, I am reminded that the first and most important system over which one has agency is the institution of self. We cannot lead students any farther than we are prepared to go ourselves.

In a postmodern society where the prevailing sentiment is the belief in varying and independent little truths, there is a growing unwillingness by many to even consider the possibility that Truth (big “T”) exists. The experiment—started by Adam and Eve’s disobedience and continued by philosophers like Plato and Kant, who failed to recognize God as the Truth—has left humanity with many holes to fill in our collective conscience. For example, the postmodern proliferation of little “t’s,” albeit “rational,”18 is rivaled only by the absence of peace and the proliferation of antidepressants and Tylenol in our postmodern society: The holes and the corresponding headache of our arrogance just won’t go away! Rorty’s pragmatism and ancillary hope in humanity’s “ability to communicate,”19 adjust, and find “eventual agreement”20 is a far less likely prospect than the Second Coming that he mockingly questions.

The rapid deterioration of the environment and morality seem to suggest that Rorty may have put his hope in the wrong occurrence; beyond the prospect that the pursuit of social justice is “the only basis for a worthwhile human life,”21 we are forced to grapple with the reality that we humans are killing ourselves and one another. Hope, in this regard, seems insufficient.

Plato, Kant, and Rorty―all of these philosophers appear to have put their faith in something or someone other than Jesus Christ and that, for me, is a hopeless and depressing prospect. I recognize that my position is dependent on the acceptance and interpretation of the Scriptures, and I understand that there are many, like Rorty22 who would view my perspective with suspicion. Perhaps the disconnect lies in the Christians Rorty describes and in his failure to understand them. Either way, I respect our power of choice and our capacity to disagree amicably. But unlike the Christians Rorty describes, I do not believe one can “become a member of a particular sect or denomination in order to prepare for [the Second Coming].”23 Instead, one prepares by accepting and obeying the Truth (God), through the growth of a daily love relationship: “‘I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me’” (John 14:6). And, like Plato, I believe we experience and know the Truth as we get closer to it.

Similar to Plato’s philosopher-king who must share with others still in his cave,24 I, too, must share my perspective while carefully dodging the sermonic overtures that often set off the two-headed trip-alarm of skepticism and cynicism. The abuse of God and religion has made this tough, though, for there are many who, with Mahatma Gandhi, would declare: “I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.”25 This perspective has valid grounds, based on the many “Christians” and “Christian educators” who do a poor job of representing Christ. I am also reminded that “faith is the substance [realization] of things hoped for, the evidence [confidence] of things not seen” (Hebrews 11:1, KJV). Ironically, Rorty quotes a portion of this biblical passage when describing his “willingness to refer all questions of ultimate justification to the future.”26 Each of us, then, must decide where we will place our faith and hope.
In the penultimate class period of my graduate Philosophy of Education course, I will never forget the stifling silence and eventual grunts that greeted the professor’s request to my classmates and me to articulate our thoughts on hope. The silence was a fairly accurate barometer of people’s real sense of hope; there was an obvious awareness of ineptitude. In a world searching for answers, there seem to be few alternatives that help us sleep better at night.

The same wound that mars the fabric of Plato’s big “T” without the big “G” (God) encroaches onto Rorty’s ideas, through the inevitable diminution of the Truth to little truths. Humanity’s futile attempt to be God, coupled with the worship of vast and varied pseudo-gods (i.e., the worship of humankind and possessions),27 facilitate the use of philosophy as an anesthetic—or “tool”28—to numb the pain created by the abyss between humanity and hope. As educators and leaders in education, we must have the audacity to create institutions and spaces of hope and healing. 

Clearing Away the Blind Spots

While large-scale reforms and political inertia may discourage many educators from envisioning and engaging in critical practices that can heal, I am reminded that the first and most important system over which one has agency is the institution of self. We cannot lead students any farther than we are prepared to go ourselves.29 We must seek to know our authentic selves and be willing to utilize the pedagogical power that exists in our stories, our belief systems, our journeys, and our survival—inside and outside the academy.

Equally important, we must also consider how our truths, journeys, and belief systems can create blind spots in our lenses, teaching, and leadership. This process was crystallized during my graduate school experience and is a process that continues to inform my practice as a leader and professor. I sought to revisit revisiting the epistemological (re)awakening that occurred as part of my doctoral program, where I had time to critically consider my previous classroom experiences as a K-12 teacher (including five years at an Adventist academy) and my hopes for my future practice.

A lot has changed since I initially drafted this manuscript in the fall of 2008 as a first-year Seventh-day Adventist doctoral student navigating a philosophy of education course in a public university. As part of my professional development and spiritual accountability during that course, I chose to read The Great Controversy as parallel content (curriculum) to balance the perspectives to which I was being exposed in class.

I enjoyed The Great Controversy, and I remember with vivid detail my efforts to share it with a classmate of mine—a dreadlocked, African-American woman who was deeply spiritual and humbly inquisitive about matters of faith. My epistemological lens then—which, today, I would describe as a combination of religious arrogance and colonial ignorance—conditioned me to believe that I had much “truth” to share with her, particularly as she shared that she was courting tenets of Rastafarianism at the time.

In short, I judged her. Yet, on the night that I sought to offer a copy of The Great Controversy to her, she became the teacher. “I can’t read that,” she said, bristling back with a look of confusion at my apparent ignorance to that which she found offensive. “Look at that cover,” she continued. It was a book cover I had cracked opened numerous times but had never critically considered until she awakened me to its content: The cover was void of any people of color—from the image of Jesus, to the angels, to the people who were being saved. Every aspect of the cover was Eurocentric, and I had missed that fact.

This encounter sparked a reconsideration of my ways of knowing my faith, myself, my history, my thoughts on curriculum, my pedagogical practices, and classroom policies as a teacher, and the religious context in which I had lived out these truths—as a black male Seventh-day Adventist who was born and raised in Bermuda but was now being challenged to reflect on the totality of my journey—including my African-American lineage.

In many ways, my engagement with my classmate transcended our evaluation of Plato, Kant, and Rorty, but our exchanges were actually an extension of it. Namely, that the journey of faith and its intersections with our individual identities and institutional associations is a complex, oft-traveled road, particularly for those in pursuit of destinations of hope. As Stephen Mansfield30 notes in The Faith of Barack Obama, this is a journey Obama came to know long before his journey to public office and cannot be separated from his mixed racial background, the loss of his biological father and stepfather, and the opportunity to mobilize his faith at Trinity United Church of Christ, a vehicle he saw as both pragmatic and potent enough to satisfy his lofty beliefs in hope and justice.31

I, too, know this struggle as an African-Bermudian/African-American who has had to grapple with the loss of a biological father—a biological father who rests in a grave in St. Louis, Missouri, the very state where I now serve as a professor at the flagship university. I wrestle with the reality that I could have and perhaps should have attended the same schools as Michael Brown in Ferguson,32 had I been raised with my father and his side of the family. I know this wrestling as a ministry leader and pastoral team member in a predominately white church; I know this as a leader who has sought to mobilize a congregation to activate the ethos of a Sabbath school quarterly on community engagement in the urban core of our city, rather than merely making philosophical remarks during Sabbath school about community engagement. I know this as a professor and leader at the University of Missouri during some troubling times and high-profile incidents of racial unrest. 

Asking Critical Questions

Living, learning, and leading in these complex spaces has forced me to see and (re)envision my faith through culturally relevant lenses. I have the audacity to believe, live, lead, and teach with the hope that we can simultaneously work within imperfect schools, systems, and churches, even as we challenge and changed them for the better. The #ItIsTimeAU uprising at Andrews University and the subsequent response, to date, from the administration is a poignant and promising exemplar of this,33 an exemplar that I hope can make Western Adventist education and our churches better as we courageously face our underdeveloped strengths and model for the world how to respond to difference and deficits in our institutions.

Listen actively and pay attention to students’ experiences. Students often face personal hardships that can derail their academic performance. Offer condolences, extend a deadline, direct or encourage them to seek support from a campus support service, and follow up on their progress. This is just as important as providing critical feedback on their work or having high expectations for attendance and punctuality.

Still, questions remain. For example, one must ask: What truths/Truths in our philosophical, epistemological, educational, and religious systems may be inhibiting us as leaders and educators from asking vital questions about cultural relevancy and its impact on curriculum—inside and outside of the schoolhouse? What will become of our institutions and our faith five years removed from the tragic death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, four years removed from the uprisings on the University of Missouri–Columbia campus, two years removed from the release of the #ItIsTimeAU video, and more than two years after the conclusion of a U.S. election campaign that was arguably more intense and divisive than any in recent memory, including divergent perceptions of truth, facts, and “alternative facts”34? As Christian educators, we must be willing to ask critical questions, such as these:

  • How comfortable are we with discussing and addressing issues of race, racism, culture, equity, and difference?
  • How do our understandings and approaches to Truth/truth(s) impact our pedagogy and perspectives of students, families, curriculum, leadership, and the communities that incubate these entities?
  • In a national/international context where racialized tensions and realities have boiled over, how has our pedagogy been impacted and implicated, and perhaps more importantly, how can or have our classroom discourses (inside and outside the schoolhouse) positively contribute to the hope that we have as Christians—without being ignorant about or dismissive of injustice?
  • More fundamentally, where do we find hope, and how do we communicate this hope each day to our students and others within our sphere of influence?

Operationalizing Intentional Practice

Like hooks,35 I now teach with the understanding that teaching is a sacred art that requires me to care for the whole student. This means being intentional in my practice and recognizing that every interaction has the potential to impact the lives of my students. Here are some suggestions based on a few examples from my own experience of how I recommend readers operationalize these principles:

  1. Create a welcoming and accepting learning environment. For example, greet students by their name (properly pronounced). This is just as important as the grades they earn since it speaks to their sense of belonging.
  2. Listen actively and pay attention to students’ experiences. Students often face personal hardships that can derail their academic performance. Offer condolences, extend a deadline, direct or encourage them to seek support from a campus support service, and follow up on their progress. This is just as important as providing critical feedback on their work or having high expectations for attendance and punctuality.
  3. Recognize that there are differences even within similar ethnic and cultural groups. Students’ lenses, opportunities, and perspectives are shaped by their experiences, and these also impact their learning needs. I know this from my own experience as an African-Bermudian learning about the African-American experience, and the same could be said about other ethnic and cultural groups. Being sensitive to and aware of the ethnic and cultural identities of students is vital, and understanding that there is diversity within groups is even more important.
  4. Cultivate an environment that is inclusive and celebrates cultural expression and excellence. For example, include imagery in curricular materials and presentations that represents a range of ethnicities and cultures. It is vital that students see themselves represented in meaningful ways. We are all God’s creation.
  5. Seek to be radically balanced! Acknowledge that issues of race still challenge our “Christian” institutions; but just like our Christian walk, we must daily tread in the example of Jesus Christ. For example, this means sharing with my church congregation that if we did not consider the soul salvation of both Michael Brown and Darren Wilson (the white police officer who killed Michael Brown, an African-American male), then we must reconsider the quality of our Christianity. 

Final Thoughts

My leadership and teaching are grounded in the belief that “true education . . . is the harmonious development of the physical, the mental, and the spiritual powers.”36 For me, this means understanding that Christian education is not about institutions alone; instead, it is about Christian educators in every educational context attending to the wholistic needs of individuals. The faith walk is a journey, and each encounter is a priceless opportunity to positively impact someone’s faith journey. My responsibility as a Christian educator is to love people, period. Leading with love means that I value relationship over sharing my religion, even as I am an active member of the Adventist Church.

However, I am a Christian first, and I believe that a profound love for humanity, coupled with a love for my subject matter and the power of ideas, must be present in order to teach and lead effectively.37 I concur with Freire that “teaching is an act of love”38 and I also see credence in McLaren’s description of love as “the oxygen of revolution, nourishing the blood . . . [and] spirit of struggle.”39

As a non-traditional Christian intellectual and professor in this age of great religious intolerance and legitimate discontent with the status quo, I seek to teach with hope and love for all people.40 I refuse to run away from the critical conversations that invariably emerge in classrooms that embrace and consider the big “T’s” and little “t’s” that students bring with them to class.41 This is an audacious yet necessary undertaking—both for my students and for me, as a seeker of Truth and walking institution of healing who desires to live out my faith, hope, and pedagogy in authentic, relevant, and liberating ways in these complex times.


This article has been peer reviewed.

Ty-Ron M. O. Douglas

Ty-Ron M. O. Douglas, PhD, is Associate Professor in the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis at the University of Missouri in Columbia, Missouri, U.S.A. He earned his doctorate in Educational Studies/Curriculum and Teaching and a post-Master’s Certificate in School Administration from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, North Carolina, U.S.A.; a Master’s degree from the University of Alabama in Huntsville, Alabama, U.S.A.; and a bachelor’s degree from Oakwood University in Huntsville, Alabama. Dr. Douglas has taught in K-12 and postsecondary schools in the United States and Bermuda. He has published widely and presented globally.

Recommended citation:

Ty-Ron M. O. Douglas, “Audacity Personified: Leading With Hope, Searching for Truth(s),” The Journal of Adventist Education 81:2 (April-June 2019): 38-44.

NOTES AND REFERENCES

  1. Positionality refers to how one’s identity is shaped by the social and political environment, and how identity influences and shapes one’s perspective. For more, see http://sk.sagepub.com/reference/geography/n913.xml.
  2. Several philosophers, from Plato to Rorty, were studied during the 16-week-long semester course.
  3. Richard Rorty, Philosophy and Social Hope (New York: Penguin Books, 1999), 201-209.
  4. Cornel West, Cornel West Reader (New York: Basic Civitas Books, 1999), 165-173; 543-544.
  5. Sheryl C. Cozart, “When the Spirit Shows Up: An Autoethnography of Spiritual Reconciliation With the Academy,” Educational Studies 46:2 (April 2010): 250-269. doi: 10.1080/00131941003614929.
  6. Plato, The Republic, G. M. A. Grube and C. D. C. Reeve, trans. (Indianapolis, Ind.: Hackett Publishing Company, Inc., 1992), 186 (original work written ca. 380 B.C.); Melissa Lane, entry “Philosopher King,” Encyclopedia Britannica: https://www.britannica.com/topic/philosopher-king.
  7. Rorty, Philosophy and Social Hope, 201-209.
  8. Ibid., xxvi, 65.
  9. Ellen G. White, The Great Controversy (Mountain View, Calif.: Pacific Press, 1911), 523.
  10. Merriam Webster Online Dictionary: https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/philosophy.
  11. White, The Great Controversy, 522.
  12. Immanuel Kant, Education (Ann Arbor, Mich.: The University of Michigan Press, 1960), 70.
  13. Fritz Guy, “Can Education Be Both ‘Higher’ and ‘Adventist’?” The Journal of Adventist Education 64:4 (April/May 2002): 7.
  14. Genesis 3:4, 5. Italics supplied. Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture texts in this article are quoted from the New King James Version. Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
  15. Plato, The Republic, 49.
  16. Ellen G. White, Patriarchs and Prophets (Mountain View, Calif.: Pacific Press, 1890), 366.
  17. Trace E. White, Scandal of the Universe (Belleville, Ontario: Essence Publishing, 2000), 16.
  18. Rorty, Philosophy and Social Hope, 86.
  19. Ibid., 204.
  20. Ibid., 72.
  21. Ibid., 204.
  22. Rorty, 201.
  23. Ibid.
  24. Plato’s allegory of the cave is a metaphor for the impact education can have on the individual. He describes a group of captives bound together in a cave, their only reality the blank wall in front of them. A fire burns outside of the cave and casts shadows against the wall. What they see is what they believe is real. One captive is freed, and as he enters the area with the fire, his eyes must adjust to new light. Each time he is taken farther away from the cave, his eyes must adjust again. The goal of education, then, is to pull individuals as far away from the cave as possible. For more on this allegory, see “The Allegory of the Cave”: https://faculty.washington.edu/smcohen/320/cave.htm.
  25. Although the source of this quotation has been disputed, it is alleged to have been said by Mahatma Gandhi: http://www.goodreads.com/quotes/22155-i-like-your-christ-i-do-not-like-your-christians.
  26. Rorty, Philosophy and Social Hope, 27.
  27. Ty-Ron M. O. Douglas, “Resisting Idol Worship at HBCUs: The Malignity of Materialism, Western Masculinity, and Spiritual Malefaction,” The Urban Review 44:3 (March 2012): 378-400.
  28. Rorty, Philosophy and Social Hope, 65.
  29. bell hooks, Teaching to Transgress: Education as the Practice of Freedom (New York: Routledge, 1994), 19.
  30. Stephen Mansfield, The Faith of Barack Obama (Nashville, Tenn.: Thomas Nelson, 2008), 1.
  31. Ibid.
  32. Michael Brown, an unarmed 18-year-old African-American teenager, was fatally shot on August 9, 2014, by Darren Wilson, a white police officer in Ferguson, Missouri, U.S.A. Wilson was responding to a reported robbery. Conflicting reports surrounding the circumstances of the shooting set in motion protests and civil unrest in Ferguson and across the nation and opened nationwide debate about the relationship between law enforcement and the African-American community. For more information, see Rachel Clarke and Christopher Lett, “What Happened When Michael Brown Met Officer Darren Wilson”: http://www.cnn.com/interactive/2014/08/us/ferguson-brown-timeline/.
  33. Current and former staff and students of Andrews University in Berrien Springs, Michigan, U.S.A., prepared and shared a YouTube video that went viral. The video challenged the university administration to address and acknowledge the school’s history of race relations, past and present. More information on the #ItIsTimeAU movement can be found at https://www.andrews.edu/diversity/itistime/. Both the #ItIsTimeAU Organizing Team and the Andrews University administration have much that is good to offer the broader field of higher education about the power of truth telling and the potential for hope and healing.
  34. Pew Research Center, Political Polarization (2016): http://www.pewresearch.org/topics/political-polarization/2016/; “Alternative facts” is a phrase used by Counselor to the President of the United States Kellyanne Conway during a Meet the Press interview on January 22, 2017. The phrase went viral on social media and several media organizations: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alternative_facts
  35. hooks, Teaching to Transgress: Education as the Practice of Freedom, 13.
  36. Ellen G. White, Education (Mountain View, Calif.: Pacific Press, 1903), 13.
  37. Antonia Darder, Reinventing Paulo Freire: A Pedagogy of Love (Boulder, Colo.: Westview, 2002), 148; Paulo Freire, Pedagogy of the City (New York, Continuum, 1993); hooks, Teaching to Transgress: Education as the Practice of Freedom, 13.
  38. Darder, ibid.
  39. Peter McLaren, “Afterword: A Legacy of Hope and Struggle,” in Darder, ibid.
  40. Ty-Ron M. O. Douglas, “What’s Radical Love Got to Do With It? Navigating Identity, Pedagogy, and Positionality in Pre-service Education,” International Journal of Critical Pedagogy 5:3 (2013): 51-82; __________, “Confessions of a Border Crossing Brotha-Scholar: Teaching Race With All of Me.” In D. J. Davis and P. Boyer, eds., Social Justice and Racism in the College Classroom: Perspectives From Different Voices (Bingley, U.K.: Emerald Publishing Group Ltd., 2013), 55-67.
  41. _________. Border Crossing Brothas: Black Males Navigating Race, Place, and Complex Space (Bern, Switzerland: Peter Lang Inc., International Academic Publishers, 2016), 187, 188.